28 January 2019

In This Ground | Book Review + Giveaway


Just as his indie-rock band was poised to make it big, Ben Dirjery traded it all in for fatherhood and the stability of a job at Bolster Hill Cemetery. Now closing in on fifty, the former guitarist finds himself divorced and at loose ends, and still haunted by the tragic death of his former band’s lead singer, who is buried, literally, under Ben’s feet. Then Ben’s daughter begins questioning a past he has tried to bury. If he can face her questions, he might finally put to rest his guilt over his bandmate’s death, and bring music back into his life.

“Startlingly incongruous parts–graveyards, guitars, and mushrooms–come together in satisfying and unexpected ways. Sharp writing and an unconventional plot make for a darkly enjoyable read.”
Kirkus Reviews

Publisher: Garland Press
Release Date: September 18, 2018


Beth Castrodale’s In This Ground is a quirky, creative, well-layered story. Uniquely combining music, mushrooms, gravedigging, family, and friendship with much, much more, the way the plot unfolds weaves the stories of various characters—a rock-star-turned-gravedigger, other narrative perspectives, and a surrounding cast—together in satisfying ways. From the start, Castrodale had my interest piqued, and I stayed curious to see what would happen until the end.

In This Ground definitely surprised me. I enjoyed it more than I expected, and I know I will be pondering elements of it in days to come. So, take a chance and pick up In This Ground—it just might surprise you, too.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a complimentary copy of In This Ground and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Beth Castrodale has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. Her novels include Marion Hatley, a finalist for a Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press (published by Garland Press in 2017), and In This Ground (Garland Press, 2018). Beth’s stories have appeared in such journals as Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, and the Mulberry Fork Review. Get a free copy of her novel Gold River when you sign up for her e-newsletter at http://www.bethcastrodale.com/gold-river/.




  1. Nice review! :) I recently read this one and enjoyed it as well!

  2. If this book hooked you from the start and made you want to read til the end, then this will be a fun book. Plus, I love family, friendship and music too.

  3. Thank you for the review. This book sounds interesting and I placed it in my TBR list. Good luck with the book.